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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 13:35 GMT
Open verdict in hunger inquest
Barry Horne
Barry Horne had given instructions not to be fed
The inquest into the death of an animal rights campaigner who suffered liver failure after a series of prison hunger strikes has returned an open verdict.

Barry Horne was serving an 18-year sentence at Long Lartin high security prison, Worcestershire, for a two-year nationwide firebombing campaign.

The former dustman, from Northampton, died on 5 November 2001 four days after being admitted to Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester.

The inquest jury, sitting in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, had been asked to consider whether they were sure that Horne, 49, intended to take his own life.

Psychiatrist's report

Worcestershire Coroner, Victor Round, read evidence that Horne was not judged to be mentally ill when he commenced the hunger strike at Long Lartin, near Evesham.

The inquest was told that when Horne was interviewed by a psychiatrist days before his death, he had denied being depressed and had spelt out the word "proud".

The psychiatrist's report, which was handed to the jury, also revealed that Horne felt he "would win by dying", forcing the government to ban vivisection.

Horne, a former dustman with a previous conviction for conspiracy to steal a dolphin, was arrested in Bristol in 1997 by undercover police after placing two incendiary devices in city centre shops. He was found with four more devices in his jacket.

He was convicted at Bristol Crown Court in December 1997 of attempted arson at city centre shops and of firebombing shops two years earlier on the Isle of Wight in a campaign that caused damage estimated at 3m.

His sentence is believed to be the longest prison term for an animal rights activist.

Barry Horne: the background
11 Mar 03 |  England
Animal rights activists charged
06 Nov 02 |  England


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